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White Sheet


Baptist Distinctives

Hope Baptist Church is an independent, fundamental Baptist Church. This means that we hold to the traditional doctrines and positions that historically have been recognized and practiced by Baptist churches. One might ask, “What makes a church a Baptist church? What is a Baptist?” This is answered in what we call “Baptist distinctives.” For a deeper look at our doctrines, please look at our page entitled, “What we believe.”


There are ten distinct doctrines that set Baptists apart.


The absolute authority of the Bible

We believe the Bible is the infallible, inspired Word of God; that it is our final Authority in faith and practice. (2Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21; Ps. 119:42, 89)


The autonomy of the local church

We believe the in the local independent church body. This means the church is self-governing, and does not answer to any hierarchy, denomination, convention or outside association. (1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Cor. 12: 27-31)


The priesthood of the believer

We believe that Christ is our High Priest, and that no one is required to seek another individual to intercede for us between man and God. As born again Christians we can come directly to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Pet. 2:9)


Eternal Security of the Believer

We believe once a person has truly trusted Christ as Savior and received the free gift of salvation, that person can never lose his or her salvation. Once we are saved we are eternally saved. (John 3:15, 16; 1 Pet. 1:5; John 19:28; Phil. 1:6)


Free Moral Agency

We believe that man possesses the ability to choose between right and wrong. We are not forced to behave a certain way; we choose how we behave. (John 24:15; Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:16)


Saved Baptized Church Membership

We believe, in order to be a member of the church, you must be a born again Christian and be baptized, either in that church, or in a church of like faith and order. (Acts 1:8; 2:41; 8:12)


Baptism by Immersion; after, but not part of Salvation

Only the local church has the authority under Scripture to baptize. We do not practice or infant baptism. (Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Cor. 12:13)


Two church ordinances: Baptism and Communion

We believe baptism and communion are ordinances of the local church and therefore should only be carried out under the church’s authority. We believe baptism is only by immersion, and neither ordinance is required for salvation. (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11: 20, 24 & 25)


Two offices of the Church: Pastor and Deacon

We believe that the pastor is the shepherd, bishop and elder of the church, and that the deacon is a servant of the church body under the pastor’s direction. (1 Tim. 3:2-7; 1 Pet. 5:2; Acts 6:1-7)


Separation of Church and State

We believe the state should never run the church; nor should the church run the state. This is a protection we enjoy under our United States Constitution. Our forefathers adopted this idea from colonial Baptist church to the Bill of Rights. As citizens, we have the right, however to be involved in our government and to shape its laws. Our constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. (Luk. 20:20-26)

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